McGrath, Sean. J., the early Heidegger & medieval philosophy. Phenomenology for the godforsaken, Washington: The catholic university of America press 2006, 268 pages [Book Review]
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Scholarship in Heideggerian philosophy can be broadly differentiated into three groups, which evolved in the European and Anglo-American discourses after WWII, namely, first a transcendental (idealist Kantian) approach; second, an Aristotelian approach; and third, a Christian approach to Heidegger’s analytic of Dasein and his fundamental ontology. All of these basic positions are a result of Heidegger’s philosophy on his way to Being and Time (1927) which he developed both in his broad ranging and fascinating lecture courses in Freiburg, where he taught as Husserl’s assistant between 1917 and 1923, and in Marburg, where he taught between 1923 and 1927 (before he returned to Freiburg in 1928 as Husserl’s successor). Interestingly, the analytic reception of Heidegger focuses on Heidegger’s main work Being and Time, whereas the European and “Continental” discourse is oriented towards larger issues, which include philosophical anthropology, theology, hermeneutics, and the history of philosophy. McGrath’s study belongs to the theologically motivated studies on Heidegger’s phenomenology and ontology and thereby contributes to the recent renewed interest in Heidegger’s early philosophy, which arose after his early lecture courses were published in his Collected Works and after it became clear that Heidegger’s way to Being and Time (and his later thinking) not only was heavily influenced by Scholasticism, especially by Duns Scotus, but also by Augustine, Eckhart, and Luther, all of which took effect before Heidegger encountered Husserl’s phenomenology, Neo-Kantianism or Aristotle’s philosophy. The greatness of Being and Time is indeed a result of the ingenious transformation of all these sources into something new.
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